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Ross Ulbricht Faces New Round Of Narcotics Trafficking Charges

As it was published earlier:

US prosecutors have brought a trio of new charges against a Texas man accused of creating the underground online drug marketplace Silk Road ahead of his November trial.

A new indictment against Ross Ulbricht, 30, filed late on Thursday in Manhattan federal court added charges of narcotics trafficking, distribution of narcotics by means of the internet, and conspiracy to traffic in fraudulent identification documents.

The new charges came on top of four other counts previously asserted by prosecutors of narcotics trafficking conspiracy, continuing criminal enterprise, computer hacking conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy.

Ulbricht, who prosecutors said was known online as “Dread Pirate Roberts”, lost his bid to dismiss the earlier charges in July. He faces trial on 3 November.

Prosecutors say Ulbricht owned and operated Silk Road, which they allege served as a black-market bazaar where drugs and criminal services like computer hacking and forgeries could be bought in exchange for the digital currency bitcoin.

The superseding indictment filed Thursday accused Ulbricht of personally distributing and aiding in the distributing of substances containing heroin, cocaine, LSD and methamphetamine.

It also accused Ulbricht of engaging in a conspiracy to sell fake ID documents, such as driver’s licenses and passports, on Silk Road.

Federal authorities shut down Silk Road last year, though a new internet marketplace under the same name debuted in November.

A lawyer for Ulbricht did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

For Donations to the Free Ross Ulbricht legal defense fund please visit: http://freeross.org

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Article Source: http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/aug/22/silk-road-suspect-ross-ulbricht-narcotics-trafficking


  1. This is taking a ridiculous amount of time, if found innocent he will be locked up for a year, what then? I doubt its not happened to someone already

  2. Taken from an article from my school paper that I wrote about the emergence of silkroad type sites.

    Prohibition is difficult enough to enforce when people aquired drugs the old fashioned way. The emergence of rogue internet markets, with respect to narcotics, will complicate things considerably. One can only imagine the social and constitutional implications of a narco-war which now encompasses the world wide web, where cowboy capitalism rules, and the prospect of complete anonomity among offenders leaves law enforcement chasing after ghosts.

    What course of action will be taken to slow this? Will the state begin the constitutionally dubious practice of regulating the content of the internet. No doubt this will enrage libertarian minded folk who hold the first amendment as sacred.

    Also,with regard to regulating the internet, one must also remember the oft-mentioned “slippery slope” argument. If web content can be legally regulated, how long before the state goes from targeting certain narcotic sites, to harrassing political dissidents, and engaging in Nixonesque abuses of power. Orwell was right in one regard. Tyrannical impulses coupled with emerging technology (like the internet) would allow rogue politicians to aquire a level of social control only dreamed of by the likes of Stalin.

    What happens if these sites are operating out of other countries? Would the state impede the sacred sovereignty of a foreign nation by targeting foreign civilians or even heads of state. It has happened. Remember Bush I s adventure with Manuel Noreiga.

    One thing is certain, the proliferation of these sites will have the same effect upon law enforcement as 9-11. That is, an increased militarization of local police as well as the inevitible escalation of the unholy alliance between local cops and the feds.

    It is a verifiable fact that Swat raids have gone up 1400 percent in two decades, mostly post nine eleven, and there is not a day the goes by where we don’t see news clips of extreme unprovoked force against civilians(mostly black) by law enforcement. (All of this, while crime is at a 50 year low.) I fear this trend will get worse. When people demand “solutions” to certain problems, real of imagined, it will be in the general interest of government and law enforcement to assuage our fears by acommadating our demands.

    The internet is an easy target, it represents a specific threat to many people including the powers that be for a very specific set of reasons. First the internet is ubiquitous, rapidly evolving, understood by very few, and perhaps most importantly, it is the only contrivance of human life which is a manifestation of spontaneous order and has not only survived, but thrived through systematic processes rather than deliberate design. A grand experiment in anarchy which certainly makes people uncomfortable. Order through chaos if you will. Humans have a difficult time understanding the emergence of order without deliberate design.Perhaps because is contradicts our most deeply held convictions regarding God. After all, if order does not need design, implicity God is not necessary. This may explain the animosity towards Charles Darwin and Adam Smith that still exists today. Both postulating the idea of order without deliberate design, in different contexts. Darwin with evolution, and Smith regarding the self-structuring nature of economy when left to its own devices.

    Bottom line, cynics have referenced fascist America. While there is truth to this, it is mostly hyperbole. However, a drug war with the ubiquitous internet as the main forum, will create an increasingly desperate situation for law enforcement and facilitate a chain of events that lead us closer to fascism. Public pressures will mount to do something and lawmakers will respond as they did after the death of Len Bias or the 9-11 attacks. That is, foolish laws will be proposed, any objector to such laws regardless of their intentions will be seen as weak, and the constitution will be put on the back burner, and the civilian population will suffer
    On a personal note.Just don’t move, flinch, or twitch if you find yourself in a confrontation with one of the chosen ones wearing a badge. You may find that the lower half of your body is no longer functional after being protected and served.

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